Small things that aggrivate me

Probably the 1 thing that has thrown up a really bright red glaring flag today was the z axis motor control wire that is hooked to the board vibrated loose during a run and promptly depowered the Z axis dropping a running 1/4" end mill straight through the workpiece. At a minimum, all the connectors on the board should lock to the board in my humble shaken opinion.

Connectors now on order from amazon and ebay.



The connectors on the ultimachine boards squeeze in so tight I have a very hard time getting them out, you should also have them secured to something, my cases have holes for cable ties. Extension connections should be taped as show in the instructions.

In bold on this page, with pictures. In reply to the email you just sent. Assembly menu step 3.

The day you made your complaints in multiple threads I rearranged the menus, as I stated in two or 3 of your threads. When there is an issue I address it as fast as possible. You keep telling me I am lacking information and I change it, if you think something is missing now let me know and be specific but I changed everything after your very first post.

These are me telling everyone I have made changes. I have answered everything in a very timely manor personally and revamped the website for you specifically. It needed work but I had no idea, as I have said several times no one has ever brought it up before. I understand it can be frustrating but please keep the replies here in the forums not in the personal email.


Ryan you really need to work harder. Sometimes your best just isn’t good enough, you need to do what’s required. There is no reason a reasonable person would expect a router/spindle to vibrate; nor should they expect any connectors to come loose because of said vibration. It’s not like it has motors going in three different directions. Not only should the connectors be locked to the board, you should personally ensure that they are welded to the board. [obviously a sarcastic post] LOL… designing is fun… pleasing all is the hard :slight_smile:


It seems like the MPCNC/LowRider starts to spread a bit wider than it’s original DIYers target, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good in the way that it could mean a big change of scale for Ryan, but bad in the way that it might need a redesign to ensure it will be foolproof, compliant with shitty regulations, etc.

DIYers understand that this product won’t be plug and play, mass consumers want to just plug the thing, use it and expect it to work flawlessly forever.

I might be wrong since I don’t know Allison but that’s a bit how her message sounds like. It sounds a bit obvious to me that you need to make sure that you secured your connectors well before using the thing. That being said it is not entirely impossible that she got a defective connector that was particularly loose, it can happen. Dupont connectors are convenient and cheap but they are not very secure nor consistent.

After Kevin’s attempt at ‘snark’, I was simply going to ignore this post going forward. On the other hand, Dui, ni shuo de dui brought out some other things that I thought I would address.

A little history- I’ve been around before the term ‘DIYers’ existed. We called it ‘hobbiest’ in my day. When I started building things, we often didn’t have plans, some engineer had thrown together a drawing and we got at times no more than 5 sentences to build with. It’s one of the reasons that ‘shitty regulations’ for safety now exist. I’ve been around a very long time as a DIYer. I’ve attached just a few pix of a few projects in the past 2 years, not to mention my building and soldering together personal computer circuit boards back in the 80’s, wiring and operating a mainframe for a bank, creating my own engineered designs of various jigs/hardware/electronics etc. and a lot more.

Before these connectors existed, we had a tool called a wire-wrap tool that was the core wiring methodology. A wire that wasn’t in place properly could arc and shut down a million dollar machine. Many of the newer connectors including Molex can be ordered from Mouser Electronics that lock into the board. It’s not that these are unavailable by any means or unreasonably expensive.

At every level Ryan has taken my ‘complaints’ and addressed them in the way he sees fit. His engineering design is excellent as is his product. However, with most engineers, the documentation element is lagging and by far the most boring part of the exciting world of creating new products and having ideas come to fruition. More often than not, the engineer writes from the perspective of working on a product for several years and forgets that some individuals that come in fresh don’t have the base knowledge that the engineer has after many years of working on the product. When a fresh person looks at something and brings up a point, no matter if no one else has ever brought up the point, it should be noted as a possible issue and considered and corrected. Ryan has been working to do this.

After working with well over 500 engineers in my career- ExxonMobil, Mannington Mills, Wheaton Glass, IBM, Bose, USAF, nuclear energy sites as a few companies and working in over 2 dozen industries, I would consider myself well versed in being able to communicate as well as understand the complexities of engineers as a whole. After writing business specifications and tech specs for over 35 years, I fully get how in some fields, you have to query the person multiple times for a long period of time to get the actual knowledge transferred from their brain to paper so others can use it.

I offered to help Ryan with the website and get the site streamlined for the LR2 to insure individuals could not only find information but be able to translate it easily into a building and working a SAFE product without missing instructions or chasing down facts needed. Considering I run a self designed and built server farm, have over 1000 programs custom designed, developed and deployed in top companies including hundreds of websites, it wasn’t a trivial offer. The offer still stands if he is interested in getting the site and the knowledge in a location that is cleanly and directly available for his users.

The Z drop on Friday is serious and can have some deadly consequences (ie; bit sheers off on the drop and a 20000 rpm piece of raw sharp metal flying through the air into a human). Ryan had adjusted the website with the new stepper link AFTER I ‘complained’ and had already assembled the unit. When I plugged in the connectors on the board and tried it for a second run, I had no expectation that the connector would pop out. They have since been silicone locked in and Molex connectors are on order.

AGAIN, For the umpteenth time- I fully respect Ryans hours he has put into this project and his willingness to share it out in the community. It’s a brilliant project that in my opinion ranks in the top 5 machines that will be in my shop. I fully respect that he has an outstanding product. He’s put a TON of hours into making this work and function for the DIYers community. HUGE props for doing that. With that said- there is ALWAYS room for improvement (ie; version 2 of the product). The connectors would be one place where the product could be improved and safety insured.

At no level are my posts intended to INSULT Ryan or COMPLAIN. They are simply to advise areas that I see as deficient that could improve the experience for the users as well as provide feedback on an items that appear in my own build. If the forum users aren’t comfortable with individuals bringing up these kinds of points for the ENTIRE COMMUNITY, maybe you need to check your ego’s and start thinking about what the topic is and what is truly at stake. One injury due to something like the connector Z drop could ruin Ryan and damage the DIYer community. I personally think Ryan DESERVES to hear feedback about issues that concern his product(s). What he does with that information is fully on him.

I hope folks can address the issues in the future and not attack the messenger. Sometimes, a different perspective on an issue leads to new discoveries and clarity where murkiness existed before.


P.S. Kevin, you can apologize at any point (snark).




Talking to the forum regulars, let’s keep it civil. There have been a few posts recently that went over the line, IMO. No need to label people (diyers or not) or put anyone into a category where they feel the need to defend their right to be here. We need to start with the assumption that everyone here is for the benefit of the project and for learning.

I find myself having trouble with this especially when I feel the need to come to Ryan’s back. Ryan says what he wants here (it’s his site) and he uses the temperament he feels is necessary. I am sure he doesn’t want us to attack people on his behalf.

Let’s try to keep everything civil. It’s fine to say something in the vein of, “it works for me” or “try it this way”. It’s not ok to say, “There’s something wrong with you”. If you have trouble walking that line, then stick to the facts.

At the end of the day (and into the night) we are all here because we enjoy it. Let’s keep it fun.

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Allison, sometime, I’d be interested in hearing how the bandsaw build went. I’m assuming thats from I was very close to doing that one, but I’m now trying to prove that I can have a functional woodshop with a cnc and tablesaw without a bandsaw.

Also, it’s a bit pedantic, but:

Engineers don’t need anyore special handling than any other people. Engineers are just humans. I’m not sure why you would think communication with someone labeled engineer would be different than someone not labeled engineer. Obviously, if you’re talking to someone who is an expert in microcontrollers, then they have specific language about microcontrollers, but that’s no different than talking to someone who is an expert in quilting about quilts.

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I think what Allison is getting at, is that the “engineer” or “designer” or “author” or whatever, is an order of magnitude above their audience in knowledge of the product. Explaining it in the minute detail necessary sometimes needs an intermediate. There’s a reason that there’s an entire job description of “Technical Writer”. It’s also why most software projects have entirely different teams of people dedicated to support, outside of the developers.

Being a support guy myself, I’ve always seen myself as one who translates from “tech speak” to “plain English” and back. It’s just as essential to have someone gathering the “It just doesn’t work” messages and compiling them into specific descriptions that can be passed back to the developers, stripping out the frustration and emotion that comes along with those communications. End users are frustrated and vent that somewhere, meanwhile the creator is emotionally vested in their design so they may initially receive any issue brought up as a personal criticism.

So yes, sometimes engineers need to be “handled” just like any other creator, for their own sanity and for the sanity of the consumer.



Jeffeb3 - no disrespect at all to engineering as a field or folks. In my experience working across a spectrum of a lot of different people in different careers - (accountants, doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc) , each career field has a different mindset and often engineers are their own ‘breed’ in many cases. Between the mechanical engineers, nuclear engineers, networking engineers, chemical engineers etc, I’ve tended to have to spend 4-5x in time to gain all the information necessary to bring their software/designs into reality in a clear and concise way. Sometimes I get a few engineers that are outstanding in their people and presentation skills. It’s not the rule by any means but more of the exception. Accountants and Financial Wall Street folks are another group that have a completely different way of thinking and presenting info. Lawyers are an entirely different mindset when it comes to their work. It can be maddening at times.

I absolutely think it’s perfectly fine that people think different ways and have a different modality at looking at things. We need people thinking and processing in different ways for our society as a whole to grow and experience some really great new things. But I also know there is a vast difference in talking to certain folks in engineering fields and in other fields.

Sometimes… just sometimes being special is great! :slight_smile:

I’ll DM you on the bandsaw / mill build from Mathias. It was awesome!

Geoffry is MUCH more eloquent on explaining this than I was! THANKS!!

Jeffeb3 - if you accept the friend request I’ll chat on the bandsaw mill.

There aren’t any DM/PMs. They were turned off when a robot emailed us with some scam. I’m not sure what the friendship thing does, so I have just ignored it.

It allows direct messaging basically.


Allison, I’m interested in reading about your experience too, so maybe you could create a new thread Under the Random or Off Topic section ?

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If you have connectors vibrating loose, how much of that is the design vs quality control of the assembly?

Good Morning from Cali…coffee in hand and in a very mellow mood, promise. Everything is good on my end, I regret using the word complain instead of suggestion, but I was irritated, I am sorry.

Typically I can help quickly those 2 day I was having cloudlfare, server, plugin issues and the site was so slow I was getting timeouts on my end. I could literally not keep up, posts and site changes would timeout and I would need to redo them. I was trying to help, most all the information exists, I just moved and added links. You started several threads at once and kept emailing me personally instead of replying here. You were bringing things up faster than I could fix/respond, and as you see a suggestion thread quickly brings more suggestions. I take it very seriously.

I do have a case of “writing instructions are boring” but I also have a international people that google translate does not seem to serve well so I do my best to communicate in pictures. I purposely do not add many words unless someone brings it up, honestly. Few actually read them anyway. Side note, from twitter. Tom S might not do his build because he actually read the instructions and feels it is not M4 compatible enough. That set Angus on the negative side as well (good morning Ryan)…go figure. Regret adding that one sentence 3 years ago…

So now that brings up the wiring and actually M4’s. This was a small project built to be easily sourced so anyone on thingiverse could make one with there leftover crappy 3d printer builds. It has now 3.5 years later turned into a huge thing. Thousands of builds, several machines. At some point I might use proprietary locking connectors, and you will have to build it my way or edit the firmware to change your stepper directions (instead of flipping the plug), use my hardware (so I can embed nuts properly and make it easier to build and not have to maintain several sets of parts for each machine), use my electronics (so I don’t have to maintain several firmware branches).

I have reasons for my choices, but I am not always right (T8’s come to mind). On the topics of plugs, I have not heard of a disconnect issue from the board ever, but I am concerned it happened to you. I don’t know what board or wires you have. If I pay more for locking connectors only the people that use a Ultimachine board can use my wires, and depending on orientation of there particular build, would need to edit the firmware to ensure the steppers move the right way. So alienate anyone that buys a different board or is extremely firmware flash phobic, or just help you solve the loose connector issue?

A globally source-able project is barely a product, there are going to be things that are not ideal or perfect. In engineering they beat this into you, school, jobs, vendors…weigh your options, there is no correct choice just one that is more correct for the situation. 3.5 years in I am still one guy doing my best, sale are up (44% over last year) profits are down (16% from last year). That means I am working much harder and no closer to being able to hire help. Some get a little over protective but we all work hard and fight to protect it. At the slightest hint of negativity people react. Please don’t hold it against anyone. Frustration comes off as negativity very easily over text. Please just give me a little extra patience and time to respond and react. WE need people with your skill set here, without all these wonderful people here in the forums I would have stopped this a long time ago.


First I think we both had a bad full moon day on Friday night. I kept responding thinking it was feeding into the forum via the email which many forum tools do. My apologies for it slamming you w/o being on the forum.

I can get with the issues of multiple controllers as well as the product setup for a variety of different layouts. Maybe I can help come up with a solution on the site that would be clear and concise and at the same time allow for the flexibility of parts to make it work.

Forums are like Facebook- want to start an argument on a forum? Just post a question :slight_smile: lol. They are constant and can be very diverse in discussion groups.

I will diligently try to be more patient with this. I did not realize you are working with such a large and diverse audience and that this was scaled to the degree it was. Running a small biz is hard enough - I’ve got 2 of the insane things.

So let me ponder how to help- it looks like now is the opportune moment to do so.

All my best,



Cheers to a better day, even though it is Monday…!

Ha, our facebook group…scary place. Most don’t know who I am so when I reply with an answer I am usually told I am wrong, go figure. I keep my distance.

I have been diving deep into the analytics lately. 2,292 orders in the last 365 days. Blows my mind. 6.3 orders per day average, every single day. Up 52% from the previous rolling year. :smiley:

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